How to manage passwords
Learning how to manage passwords is not difficult. With the right tool
and a bit of good advice you will finally have passwords under control.
You are frustrated with passwords because..
Passwords are a real pain to deal with. They always seem in your way. Whatever you do, you're constantly being asked for a password.
Email, social media, shopping, banking, government websites, news,
movies, work, fun. Passwords, passwords, passwords. They're everywhere.
There is always another password to come up with and remember. It never stops.
You never seem to have less passwords. You tend to keep them in different places. You're often not sure which password is the right one.
If this is your experience, read on.
How to manage passwords
It is best to keep all your passwords in one place. Passwords should always be easily accessible to minimize the time you have to spend looking for them. Every time you have to search for the right password, you're wasting time.
Keeping them in one place also makes them easier to update. Sometimes you have to change a password, and then you have to update your records with that new password so next time you need it you don't use the old one. Time wasted on managing passwords is time lost forever. You could have been doing something fun instead.
Passwords are not going away any time soon
More and more services are moving online, and they all require a password. Experts have been trying to replace passwords with something better for a while, but there is nothing on the horizon yet.
It may eventually happen. Even so, it won't be overnight. The password management skills you learn today, especially if you start using a password manager, will stay relevant and transferable to whatever the new authentication mechanism replaces passwords.
Until then, we will continue to use passwords. Learning how to manage them is a worthwhile time investment that will pay you back many times over. With the right tool it is simple and straightforward.
How to manage passwords
Let's look at different ways to manage passwords, both recommended and inadequate.
Using sticky notes to manage passwords is a recipe for disaster.
One way to
manage passwords is to write them down on sticky notes. Sticky notes
are convenient because you can stick them pretty much anywhere.
You can stick them on your computer monitor, for example. Or on the
wall behind it. Looking up passwords is relatively quick - locate the right sticky note, read the password written on it and type it on a computer. And they come in different colors to keep you entertained.
This is where the fun ends. Learn why using sticky notes for password management is unacceptable.
While slightly better than having passwords on random pieces of paper, notebooks are not suitable for managing passwords.
You could also use a notebook to
manage passwords. Notebooks are more sturdy and you can take them - and your passwords - with you
when you leave the house.
Notebooks have enough room inside for all your passwords, and you
can organize information in alphabetical order for easy access. When
you don't need the passwords you can store the notebook in a safe place
where it is not exposed to other people.
Nevertheless, because they have many more shortcomings than advantages, notebooks are inadequate for password management.
Excel lacks basic security
features and is not a convenient method to manage passwords.
If you use Microsoft Excel for work or fun, you may naturally think that it would be a good fit for password management as well.
Excel is computer software and doesn't suffer the same problems that objects in the physical world to. Excel spreadsheet cannot unstick from the wall, lose its form or become unreadable.
With Excel you can copy and paste passwords instead of looking them up and typing them on a computer manually. They are more readily available when you need them.
Although it has some advantages relative to pen and paper, Excel is not an
appropriate tool for managing passwords.
The easiest, most convenient way to manage passwords.
A password manager is so user-friendly that you don't even have to copy & paste your
passwords - it does it for you.
It also generates strong, secure passwords that you never have to remember or see.
Using a password manager is the simplest way to organize passwords and keep them in one place, without even knowing what they are.
It is an indispensable tool that will save you a lot of time and frustration.
The proper way to manage passwords
While there are different ways to manage passwords, only a password manager is both convenient and secure.
Can you have unlimited number of passwords?
Are passwords always at
Are passwords stored in
a reliable way?
Are passwords easy to find?
Are passwords easy to use?
Is the password management technique secure?